Black intertidal zone inspired textiles and wood artworks symbolising concealed boundaries within self, society and stewardship.

This exhibition crosses boundaries of visual, applied and conceptual art, challenging viewers to reconsider their relationships with themselves, society, and the environment. The work draws inspiration from the black intertidal zone visible on rocks all around the world’s coastlines. This transitional area emerges and recedes with the pulse and rhythm of the tides, the pull of the sun and moon, and becomes a metaphor for the often unseen and overlooked boundaries and forces that shape our individual and collective experiences. ‘Hidden Line’ presents an exploration of these concealed, interconnected boundaries within the domains of self, society, and stewardship. Ultimately, the exhibition seeks to inspire insight, responsibility and mindfulness, challenging viewers to acknowledge and address the divisive hidden lines that may be deflecting attention from our collective psychological wellbeing, social dynamics, and environmental health.

Crafted from wool and wood, the unique, useful artworks featured in this exhibition are worthy of heirloom status. I use the hand tufting technique to paint and sculpt with yarn, weaving in elements of the natural world and heritage motifs. Each work is unique with my practice reminiscent of evolution and each finished product embodies a sense of new life.

The stools are sourced from local storm-fallen trees and crafted in collaboration with skilled woodworker Phil Crennell of The Art Vice. Phil draws inspiration from his materials and constant contact and respect for his place in nature, weaving his craftsmanship seamlessly into the narrative. Our collaboration adds layers of meaning to the works, symbolising the unseen but essential interdependence and symbiosis necessary for the well-being going forward.

In the realm of self, the textiles represent the intricate tapestry of our consciousness, interwoven with threads of personal choices, values, and perspectives. The wood with its organic and structural nature, stands as a metaphor for the innate connection between humanity and the Earth. On a societal level, these artworks highlight the veiled boundaries that enable the perpetuation of practices detrimental to our planet, with a work such as ‘Unravelling’, symbolic of the, often abolished, marks humankind has made over time and are now fraying away the health of our mother nature. The same textile, embodying the patterns of societal norms and expectations, may inadvertently contribute to a collective blindness to environmental concerns. The wood, as a structural element, simultaneously underscores other invisible foundational aspects of societal structures that often turn a blind eye to ecological crises.

These artistic expressions serve as a call to unveil and address the genuine issues surrounding the disregard for our principle mother, Earth, and all life calling this planet; according to the UN up to 1 million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. In parallel with delving beyond the superficial boundaries depicted in the art, we confront the urgency of recognizing our collective impact on the environment, our vulnerability and overwhelming powerlessness. Simply developing better relationships with self, society, and this Earth that we all share, we will collectively increase lines of connections and holistic health and well-being.

Significantly influenced by a rural upbringing, Laura Derby (Rugaura) chose to obtain a BA Honours Degree in Industrial Design (Woven Textiles) at The Scottish College of Textiles through which her creative appreciation for colour, materials and application could develop. Working as an artisan rug maker in New Zealand inspired Laura to create her own designs and another influence has been the life and work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser; painter, architect, ecology activist and philosopher. A parallel detour into health and social care over the past 25 years has further enriched and shaped Laura’s artistic identity.

Thanks to WASPS, Craft Scotland and The Inches Carr Foundation significant milestones which have steered and informed Laura include residencies at Marchmont Creative Spaces and The Admiral’s House on Skye. Laura exhibits annually through Upland’s Spring Fling Open Studios event and features regularly in group exhibitions in Kirkcudbright. Kirkcudbright National Gallery and Buy Design Gallery in Jedburgh also stock Laura’s work.

Proudly achieving The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere Certification Mark acknowledges the origin and sustainability of Laura’s work, emphasising her use of 100% British Wool and upcycled local materials. This intentional choice underscores Laura’s commitment to environmental responsibility and her creations to a level of ecological integrity. In essence, Laura’s artistic journey serves as a testament to her innate connection with nature, commitment to sustainability, and the sincere desire to weave a positive thread into the fabric of life through her distinctive hand-tufted creations.


Event Details

Date: March 28 - April 26
Time: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Granton Station
1 Granton Station Square

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Laura Derby